Monday, November 30, 2015

"China" by Red Rockers

Song#:  1477
Date:  06/04/1983
Debut:  92
Peak:  53
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This New Orleans band began in 1979 and immersed themselves in the sounds of the new punk scene. Their first two indie releases, an EP and a full-length, were critical successes and they found themselves touring with the likes of The Clash. Their second full album, "Good As Gold," brought about an affiliation with Columbia Records and a change in sound. They toned down the punk and moved into a more polished new wave style that caught critics and fans off guard. However, MTV and radio approved of the change and this first single reached #19 at Rock while almost hitting the Pop Top 50. It would end up being their only Pop chart entry. The band's sound continued to evolve on their next album, but it failed to do any real business and soon after they called it a day.

ReduxReview:  Listening to this I'd never suspect these guys were initially a Clash-lite punk group. They sound very Euro-new wave here with more in common with The Psychedelic Furs. (To hear the difference, check out "Teenage Underground" from their first album on YouTube.) Hardcore fans most likely hated the change to a more mainstream sound, but I think it suits them just fine. I like the song and the ringing, almost epic production. While they probably lost fans due to the change, they may have picked up more thanks to this song. Yeah, it may not be as intense, political or pointed as their earlier punk outings, but there is a lot here to like as well.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  How drastically had the Red Rockers' sound changed? So much so that one track from "Good As Gold" wound up on the Dance chart. "'Til It All Falls Down" would be a blip on the chart reaching #45.


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